The awards include the Chief of Staff’s Award for campaign achievements, the Paratroop Command & the Chief Infantry Officer’s Award for excellence in maintaining sector security. Rabbis of the Nachal Chareidi Foundation: This is proof that under the appropriate conditions, chareidi soldiers are the best
Battalion 97 of Nachal Chareidi has won the IDF’s award for excellence from its department of technology and logistics, and it is also a candidate for another four awards for excellence. The rabbis of the Nachal Chareidi Foundation stated that, “This is the best proof that when the chareidi soldier is taken into account, suitable conditions are provided for him in the IDF, and things are done with dialogue and understanding, he will be better than any other soldier.”
The soldiers won the technology and logistics department award after several surprise tests at the base, given by department members, and the chareidi base was seen to be run according to a very high level of logistics. Members of the department gave the chareidi soldiers a grade of 99 in this category. The four other prizes for excellence where soldiers from the chareidi battalion are among the candidates are: the Chief of Staff’s prize for creativity and unusual campaign achievements, a prize from the paratroopers’ command and the Chief Infantry Office for excellence in maintaining security in the sector where the chareidi soldiers were training, a safety award, and an education award.
The candidates were entered for the education award due to the unusual cooperation between the education officer of the brigade and the rabbis of Nachal Chareidi Foundation, who accompany the chareidi soldiers, coordinated with the army, from when they enter the IDF until they have completed their service. This cooperation has created an amazing educational program that has been adapted especially for chareidi soldiers and has been very well received. Winning the award has led to an increase in funding for the battalion and better equipment for the soldiers.
During the next few weeks, the soldiers will absorb dozens of additional chareidi recruits. According to data gathered by Nachal Chareidi, while over the past few years, there had been a drop in the number of chareidim in the battalion as more national religious soldiers filled its ranks, in the most recent draft, between 80-90% of the recruits are graduates from chareidi yeshivas.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)